Ted Cruz left with family to Mexico for a short trip as hundreds of thousands of Texans were fighting freezing temperatures.
Nothing reveals the leadership qualities of a person quite like a crisis. The response of Beto O'Rourke during the Texas power blackout is one that has become a source of pride for the state. Beto O'Rourke, along with volunteers, made more than 170,000 wellness calls to check on seniors, during the snowstorm, throughout the state, reported The Week. The Democrat ran for the presidential nomination in 2020 and was also a Texas Senate candidate in 2018. More than hundreds of thousands of people in Texas didn't have power as of Thursday morning.
Ironically, the man the state chose to represent itself in the Senate — Ted Cruz — appeared to have left the state for a family vacation at Cancun as Texans were out of power, and in many places water. The Republican returned to the state a day later after being heavily criticized for looking to escape the freezing temperatures in Texas. "The junior senator from the state of Texas, who I understand is vacationing in Cancun right now, while people are literally freezing to death in the state that he was elected to represent," said Beto O'Rourke, in an interview with MSNBC. At least 20 people have died as a result of the snowstorm and the subsequent power blackout.
BIG THANKS to the volunteers who made over 784,000 phone calls to senior citizens in Texas today.— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) February 19, 2021
You helped to connect them with water, food, transportation, and shelter.
And you made sure that they knew we were thinking about them and that they matter to us.
Beto O'Rourke also called out GOP leaders after they attempted to place blame for the power outages on renewable energy sources, which accounts for only 10 percent of the power. Governor Greg Abbott said renewable energy sources caused the blackout, despite claiming otherwise on local TV. Despite being more than a decade in power, the right-wing ecosystem, including Fox News, tried to point fingers at the Green New Deal, which hasn't even been implemented. Texas privatized its power grid and multiple reports claimed the company had failed to do the necessary maintenance or prepare for climate emergencies such as this.
Beto O'Rourke said America isn't prepared for climate change and placed the blame for the power blackout on Republicans "In Texas, you have an example of what happens when a state is governed by those who do not believe in government, to begin with," said O'Rourke, reported Newsweek. "The Republican Party has had absolute control of the state Senate, the statehouse, the governor, the lieutenant governor, every state-wide office for the last 20 years," he said. O'Rourke has also been sharing crucial information and coordinating rescue efforts and resources on his social media during the crisis.
You’re the governor of a state where millions don’t have power, where people are literally dying of exposure, and you go on Fox news to talk about... the Green New Deal? You are the governor. Your party has run Texas for 20 years. Accept responsibility & help us get out of this. https://t.co/G1Bai59nKc— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) February 17, 2021
While Republicans pointed fingers at renewable energy, Democrats took the initiative to support Texans on the ground during the blackout. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez raised more than $1 million in donations for five Texan noon-profits to help the people during the snowstorm. The funds will go to food aid, homelessness assistance, elder care, and other direct relief.
Senator @BetoORourke is doing what a Texas Senator is supposed to do in a time like this.— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 18, 2021
Ted Cruz returned from Cancun and revealed he had originally intended to return only on Saturday. He had traveled with his family to Mexico during the crisis. Ted Cruz came under heavy criticism after fellow travelers took pictures of the Senator leaving Texas along with his family. On his return, the GOP leader admitted it was a mistake. According to texts accessed by The New York Times, Heidi Cruz, Ted's wife, invited her friends and neighbors to join them in the getaway as their house was "FREEZING."
Ted Cruz attempted to justify the trip by claiming he was only being a good dad to his two daughters who wanted to spend the weekend away from home. "The plan had been to stay through the weekend with the family," said Cruz. "On the one hand, all of us who are parents have a responsibility to take care of our kids, take care of our families. But I also have a responsibility that I take very seriously of fighting for the state of Texas," he added. #FlyinTed and #FledCruz were some of the hashtags trending on social media.
Gilberto Hinojosa, the Texas Democratic Party chairman called out the GOP leader, too. "This is about as callous as any politician can get. He’s a politician that really has never cared much about anybody but himself," said Hinojosa.